It’s hard enough to skip the office junk food, let alone pack nutritious, homemade snacks to replace it. But well-balanced snacks are important to keep your energy up and productivity high, especially if you’re living with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).
These IBS-friendly, low-FODMAP snacks can help you fuel up without worrying about the repercussions. They can also reduce the temptation of office donuts, especially if your packed snack is something you look forward to. We’ve included some recipes from our favorite bloggers to make it easy to prepare these delicious treats.
Fill your bag with these snacks to satisfy cravings, amp up your nutrition, and, dare I say it? Make the workday a little more fun.
1. Strawberry coconut granola
A jar of homemade granola can turn around an entire morning. This recipe uses freeze-dried strawberries to add bursts of flavor and counteract the sweetness of the granola. Top it with your favorite lactose-free milk or sprinkle it over yogurt, smoothies, or oatmeal.
2. Ice-cold smoothie
A frozen smoothie is the perfect substitute for your afternoon iced coffee and sugar-filled pastry, which can be loaded with high-FODMAP ingredients. Create a smoothie you, and your stomach, will love with this mix and match recipe. Make it in the morning and pop it into a thermos to keep it cold throughout the day, or pour it into a jar with a tight-fitting lid and store it in the freezer until you’re ready to dive in.
3. Veggie chips
Potatoes aren’t the only vegetables that make delicious chips. Bake healthy veggies in the oven to create chips that will leave you feeling full. Kale, carrots, zucchini, and other vegetables all make great chips that are packed with vitamins and minerals.
4. One-bowl gluten-free crackers
It’s surprisingly hard to find low-FODMAP crackers. Most boxed varieties sneak in at least one ingredient that can set off IBS. These homemade crackers are easier to make than you might think, and they are the perfect canvas for a little bit of goat cheese or dip. Just be sure to leave out the optional garlic powder.
5. Seedy granola bar
These aren’t the sad, crumbly, sugar-filled packaged granola bars of your youth. There are so many great IBS-friendly granola bar recipes out there, but these nut-free bars are loaded with nutritious seeds and heart-healthy fats. This portable snack will keep you energized and ready to tackle the emails rapidly amassing in your inbox. If you don’t have time to make your own, Bobo’s oat bars, GoMacro, and 88 Acres all make low-FODMAP bars. Just be sure to check the ingredients before tearing in.
6. Roasted vegetable salad
Who said salad was only for meals? Your favorite salad can make a great afternoon or pre-dinner snack. It’s an easy way to sneak in a few more leafy greens. Add leftover roasted veggies for extra flavor and nutrition.
7. Traditional low-FODMAP hummus
Hummus is quite possibly the king of snack foods. The protein-packed spread makes it easy to eat more veggies without it feeling like a chore. This hummus recipe tastes like store-bought varieties without the fear of garlic-induced suffering. Have trouble with chickpeas and other beans? This bean-free zucchini hummus will also hit the spot.
8. Crispy ham cups
Beat the afternoon slump or amp up your lunch with these mini quiches. Deli meat is substituted for a traditional crust, which means they are even easier to make, and loaded with protein.
9. Stovetop popcorn
Don’t be the person who burns popcorn in the microwave. Pop it at home on the stove and bring it to work in airtight containers to seal in all of the crunchy goodness. Top with nutritional yeast straight out of the pan for a cheesy flavor and extra protein.
10. Greek salad wrap
Need a salt fix? This healthy wrap will hit the spot. Cherry tomatoes, olives, lettuce, cucumber, and feta combine for a nutritious wrap that’s stuffed with flavor. While this wrap would make a great lunch, you can also cut it into smaller pieces for a filling snack.
11. Turmeric Roasted Pumpkin Seeds
You can’t even go to the coffee shop anymore without running into turmeric these days, and for good reason. The brightly hued spice can help reduce inflammation, ease pain, prevent Alzheimer’s, and boost the immune system. It is also being studied for its potential to help prevent and fight cancer. A quarter cup of pumpkin seed kernels has half of your daily requirement of magnesium and 9 grams of protein.
12. Carrot quinoa oatmeal breakfast cookies
Skip the office treats and dig into one of these hearty cookies instead. They have all of the flavor of carrot cake without the excess sugar. Oat flour, rolled oats, and quinoa combine to make protein-filled cookies that will leave you satisfied with just one (large) cookie.
13. No-bake chocolate fudge cookies
These no-bake cookies come together in minutes. They’re the perfect after-lunch treat — sweet enough to fill a dessert craving but still low in sugar so you won’t crash after. They feature melt-in-your mouth chocolate and a macaroon-like texture. Note: The cookie will melt into a huge mess if it gets too hot. These are best if you use a cold pack or keep your lunch in the fridge.
14. Overnight chocolate chia seed pudding
Kiss the plastic pudding cups goodbye. This overnight chia seed pudding is a chocolate lover’s dream. It’s rich in healthy cacao, omega-3s, and protein. Blend it for a silky-smooth treat, or leave the seeds whole for a more traditional chia seed pudding.
You don’t have to eat the same sad snack every day or scour the office for food that won’t set off your IBS. A little bit of time, or label reading, can pay off with delicious treats that will fill you up and make you feel good. Who knows, a hearty snack may even make your inbox and your to do list a little less daunting.
Mandy Ferreira is a writer and editor in the San Francisco Bay Area. She is passionate about health, fitness, and sustainable living. She’s currently obsessed with running, Olympic lifting, and yoga, but she also swims, cycles, and does just about everything else she can. You can keep up with her on her blog (treading-lightly.com) and on Twitter (@mandyfer1).